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Hear about Collabra from the people who use it.
Collabra has eliminated the need for written practice logs. Viewing their weekly practice times is by far my most used feature, but I also use Collabra for creating Assessments as an alternative to students emailing me their recordings. My students feel accountable when they know I can listen in, and I can easily give specific feedback on their work.
Dan Whisler, Director of Orchestras, Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS)
I use Collabra with my Piano Pedagogy class, and it provides a perfect way to record and review my students’ lessons. Collabra really solves a problem for me. In the past it was difficult to observe my pedagogy students in their practice lessons more than once or twice per semester, and now I can observe them on a weekly basis. The software feature that allows for time-stamped comments on what I observe is a unique and very valuable tool and makes Collabra stand out from other video methods I’ve used in the past.
Meme Tunnell, Assistant Professor of Music, Bellarmine University
Collabra has been fantastic this last semester with my trombone studio. I think the program is pretty intuitive and user-friendly. The feedback from my students has been 100% positive. I am definitely planning to continue using it for the upcoming school year. The video archiving of all the lessons for each student has been great. I have noticed a more focused quality to the lessons since I started using Collabra. The retention from lesson to lesson has improved across the board. Additionally, I have noticed a significant improvement in the students involvement via follow-up questions. I’ve already told a number of my colleagues about it (as well as the director of the school of music). I’ve also mentioned using it on the “trombone pedagogy” Facebook group. As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan!
Dr. Mark Babbitt, Professor of Trombone, Illinois State University
I like recording video lessons 1-on-1 with the student in the room. My lessons are completely interactive and unique to each student. It’s hard to decide between the lesson tool and the student practice log, which I like more. It’s just really simple and powerful. My vision is that our entire school would someday use Collabra.
Moises Paiewonsky, Associate Professor of Music - Trombone, The University of Arizona
I’m very excited to learn about Collabra, and I’ve been spreading the word to every teacher I know. The beauty of Collabra is how simple it is. I like that it streamlines what a lot of us as teachers are already doing! One feature that I really like is how easily students can submit their recordings to me for review, and then I can click on an exact spot in the video and give specific feedback about that particular moment. I no longer have to say ‘Look on page 12, measure 7…’ The Assessments feature has been thoughtfully designed, and is very useful for evaluating scales and other such assignments. I especially love that the folks at Collabra are willing to listen to the needs of teachers and other musicians, and incorporate our suggestions as the product continues to improve and evolve. Perhaps my favorite feature of Collabra is their customer support. Ron and Brandon have both been wonderful; every time I have asked a question, they get right back to me. I could not ask for a better team of support!
Dr. Cynthia MacCrae, Professor of Music, University of Montevallo
My favorite thing is that Collabra can be used to track my students’ actual practice habits and this creates an honest account of their practicing. I like being able to record a lesson once and then release it to all of my students simultaneously. I recommend Collabra as an app to motivate students to practice daily, and as a way to avoid teaching the same lesson repeatedly.
Dr. Matilda Ertz, Piano Instructor, Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS)
I’m glad you all came up with Collabra, it’s great! The site is always available, so it holds both me and my students accountable, which creates a consistency of preparation. It’s a win-win for both of us–they have no excuses, and I have skin in the game. Being web-based, Collabra is a great tool for me when I travel because I can still keep my teaching schedule active. It’s now mandatory to use Collabra if students take lessons with me. Some of my students live 100 miles apart, but we can all stay on the same page using the platform. Some people use Skype, but I’ve found that Collabra is more powerful and user friendly. I tell everyone about Collabra–it has made my life so much easier!
Jacqueline Pickett, Double Bass Faculty, Schwod School of Music, Columbus State University
Being able to see my student in the practice room is a huge advantage of Collabra. For every instrument there are posture issues, and with voice, your body is your instrument. I watch their practices and leave comments so they know they are being cared for outside of the lessons. I also like that I can pre-record small explanatory exercises for my students to review. They can hear me describe why I want them to do the exercise, and then I can have one of my graduate students demonstrate it, so they fully understand the exercise. I don’t think there’s anything that I don’t like about Collabra. Several of my students are becoming teachers soon and they are really excited about what they could do with Collabra and their future students.
Rob Holden D.M.A., Professor of Voice and Director of UCA Opera Theater, University of Central Arkansas
Collabra is the LBD (Little Black Dress) of the music teaching studio. It is one of the most versatile learning and teaching tools for private studios that I have ever had the pleasure of using, and I have been both an advocate and active user of technology and music education for many decades.
At first glance, this amazingly approachable program/app looks deceivingly like a mere measure of accountability for student practice. But even in PRACTICE mode, there are so many potential benefits.
Dr. D. Gause, Private Teacher, College Professor, International Performer, Conductor, Composer
Every student teacher must have 200 hours of field experience, as required by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board – the governing body for all teacher certifications in Kentucky. My Foundations for Music Education courses usually have 22-42 students. Trying to be with 22 different students doing 50 hours of field work during the semester is impossible. Collabra allows me to monitor my students’ field experience interactions remotely, without having to be at all of the schools in person. My students are teaching in public schools with large and small groups of students, and are required to keep the camera on themselves. I also require that students record a practice teaching session on Collabra with another student partner before going into the field. For example, Student A would record a mini-practice session teaching Student B and then the students would reverse roles. This allows them to become familiar with the platform as well as gain practice teaching before the actual field experience. In addition they are required to critique the practice session and consider what aspects of their teaching they would like to improve. My students love using the video aspect to watch themselves back and learn how they can improve.
Dr. Susan Creasap, Interim Director of Bands/Professor of Music Education, Morehead State University
So far, the most important thing that I have learned about being a better private teacher is about coordinating between the student, parent and me. I like that Collabra turns my lessons into a textbook for my students. I’m always trying to brainstorm with my colleagues about the best way to keep parents in the loop, and this is it!
Andy Villemez, Visiting Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Coordinator of Secondary Piano, University of Cincinnati - Conservatory of Music
I really appreciate that students can save all of their work (lessons and practices) for the duration of their study with me on the Collabra platform. I’m the co-chair of the music department and have been bringing this up in all of our studios and am considering using it for beginning conducting classes as well as student teaching. I love that the Collabra team is extremely responsive, and when any questions or issues arise, they address them immediately.
Dr. Brian J. Winnie, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities & Voice, Southwestern College, Winfield KS
I require all of my students to practice on the Collabra platform. It’s the easiest and most accurate way to make sure they are putting the work necessary to succeed in my program. Other instructors at my university have been talking about how much my students are practicing. I credit that to my high standards and Collabra’s ability to hold them accountable. I love that I can quickly login and view a practice report, and then easily give my students their participation grades. Collabra is mandatory for my students and should be for anyone who wants to hold their students accountable.
Eric Brown, Visiting Instructor of Music, Voice, Morehead State University
I’ve made Collabra a requirement of my String Methods class. These students are all seeking teaching certificates and I want them to be aware of emerging resources like Collabra that they can use as teachers. I like that Collabra can record practice videos and that both the students and the instructor can make comments on the video. I’ve had students add comments as self-reflections (e.g., finding their best performance or worst performance and writing about it). I like that I can just click on the comment and go right to that portion of the video. There are a lot of possibilities with Collabra.
Jenn Mishra, Associate Professor, Music Education, The University of Missouri, St. Louis
Collabra is a practice management platform that helps you manage students and motivate practice. It is designed for school band directors, orchestra leaders, choir directors, private instructors, and the performing arts.
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